Queenstown and Wanaka unite to address regional issues

Queenstown and Wanaka unite to address regional issues

MEDIA RELEASE FROM QUEENSTOWN LAKES DISTRICT COUNCIL, LAKE WANAKA TOURISM, DESTINATION QUEENSTOWN, QUEENSTOWN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND WANAKA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
May 3, 2018. For immediate release 

Tourism and business leaders from the Queenstown Lakes District have agreed to adopt a unified approach to regional issues during a “ground-breaking” meeting this week.

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult called the meeting between the boards of Lake Wanaka Tourism and Destination Queenstown, Queenstown Chamber of Commerce and Ignite Wanaka Chamber of Commerce to discuss how the organisations could work together more proactively on advocating for the district.

Queenstown Lakes District Council is trying to find a permanent solution to the major imbalance between the number of the district’s ratepayers (37,000) and visitors that come to the region (6.5 million visitor nights per annum) and how the urgent costs of regional infrastructure will be met.

Traditionally, Wakatipu and the Upper Clutha have tended to see themselves differently and at times there has been a disconnect between the communities, divided physically by the Crown Range.

“There has been some tension between the two areas, especially as Queenstown and Wanaka are growing at such a fast rate, but I think there is now a better understanding of the issues both areas are facing,” Boult explains.

“To somebody visiting our district from another part of the world, they’d wonder what the fuss was about because both areas are really similar. I think sometimes we spend too long thinking internally instead of externally.”

At the meeting on Tuesday at the Cardrona Hall, board members from all organisations had an open and frank discussion about how the two towns and their respective individual communities could work better together. It was agreed that the two regional tourism organisations would get together in the coming weeks, as would the two Chambers, and report back to Boult.

“It was a ground-breaking meeting – I’m not aware a meeting between all four organisations has ever taken place before,” Boult says.

“It was enormously positive. Everybody there came away from it determined to address the significant issues we have and I look forward to hearing what comes out of the upcoming discussions.”

“Now, more than ever, in a time of significant growth and pressure on communities, it is a time for us to think of the district as a whole to ensure it remains an outstanding place to live, work and visit no matter which town you live in. Some big-picture thinking will lift us all beyond a back-yard perspective and see there are benefits to a single, unified vision for the Queenstown Lakes District.”

ENDS

Photo caption:
Board members of Lake Wanaka Tourism, Destination Queenstown, and Queenstown Chamber of Commerce and Ignite Wanaka Chamber of Commerce meet with Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult and CEO Mike Theelen at Cardrona Hall on Tuesday

For more information, please contact:
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult – jim.boult@qldc.govt.nz, 027 480 1201

Written by Celia Crosbie

Celia is an award-winning journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.

@CELIACROSBIE